Rolling Stones Face Fans' Protest

The Rolling Stones haven't even announced a 50th anniversary tour for this year, but already they've incited the wrath of some fans.

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The Rolling Stones haven't even announced a 50th anniversary tour for this year, but already they've incited the wrath of some fans.

Calling themselves as the Rolling Stones Liberation Front, some of them have got together to demand changes to the way the band tour. And if these demands aren't met, they're threatening non-violent, disruptive action to force home their campaign.

So what is it they want? Here are their six demands in full:

1) WE WANT SMALLER VENUES We believe the time has passed for gargantuan mega-arena spectaculars; hardly anything good comes from these soulless shows. Scale it back. Throw away the lights, the inflatables, the fireworks and the catwalks. Keep it simple. Mick Jagger no longer needs to prove himself a physically fit older gentleman, we get it. The introduction of the considerably smaller B-stage set up in the middle of the venue at the end of 1994's Voodoo Lounge Tour was a perfect step toward this philosophy. Ask any concert goer and they'll tell you the best part of the last fifteen years of Rolling Stones shows has always been that time they play the three or four songs on the smaller stage. How much more of a hint do they need? We demand an alternative: establish a residency in theaters for up to seven days in every city on the perspective tour. You cannot tell us, in 2012, an organization as big and experienced as The Rolling Stones cannot pull off this task. Their fan is a dedicated one, almost to a fault and the band should not worry about loyalty, the people will come to them, it is all but assured. Leave your 400 tons of steel at home. Two guitars, bass, drums and a vocal mike, that's it; the magic is in the music not in the lights. Cut the fat, less is more.

2) WE WANT LOWER TICKET PRICES We believe it is unacceptable to charge up to $350 for a single ticket. The Rolling Stones do not need the money, but we need our money. We believe a band needing to charge $85 $100 for upper balcony seats is a band no longer in touch with their fan base. We demand the ticket price for the next tour to be no more than $30 and without any and all service charges. The people have been burned many times before by useless and expensive incentives such as "fan club seats" and pre-sale tickets which only lead us to frustration and bad sightlines; experience has taught us there are no special seats for the proletariat no matter how many hoops we jump through. If you are within the first twenty rows on the main floor, a Rolling Stones show is an unparalleled experience. If you are anywhere behind row 30, the show is a drag, an expensive drag.

Like it or not, this has become a worker's struggle; it's the masses who fill a majority of the seats at The Rolling Stones concerts. Today it is only the bourgeoisie who can afford (or are given tickets to) seats near the front; fat cats, music critics and their sloppy, clueless friends who have only a passing interest in the band. We've been watching them for years from our positions high above; we watch with furrowed brows through binoculars as they stare up at the stage, in the glare of the lights, unmoving and jaded. This is an outrage. We demand the Rolling Stones to go back to regular, first come/first serve ticket sales, preferably at physical ticket outlets and not via the Internet. No promos, no guest lists.

3) WE WANT A SET LIST OVERHAUL We believe with an immense back catalogue of songs to choose from, there is no reason why The Rolling Stones need to stick to roughly the same 30 songs for every tour; we refuse to sit through another airing of the played-out hits. Satellite radio has established the popularity of what is known in the industry as "deep cuts", songs that were not necessarily "hits" in the usual sense of the word, but are fan favourites, none the less. The practice of playing uncommon songs was introduced by and large for the 1989 Steel Wheels Tour and we, the paying customers, were delighted. However, after twenty three years, further steps need to be taken. Therefore, we demand the following songs not to be played on the next tour: "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction", "Brown Sugar", "Honky Tonk Women", "Start Me Up", "Sympathy For The Devil". Investigate your own catalogue; do not take us for granted.

4) WE WANT THE ELIMINATION OF THE HORN SECTION AND BACK-UP SINGERS We believe The Rolling Stones have drifted too far from the true and basic rock n roll aesthetic. It's time to bring it back; back at least to the hugely successful 1978 Some Girls Tour. With all due respect to the honourable Bobby Keys, we believe the horn arrangements are needless and get in the way. We demand the removal of the brass section for the upcoming tour. Mr. Keys should only be allowed to perform on any songs from albums with release dates between the years 1970 1973. Additionally, with all due respect to the honourable Lisa Fischer, Bernard Fowler and Blondie Chaplin, the use of back-ups singers is now irrelevant and we demand their removal for the next tour.

5) WE WANT THE EXPULSION OF ALL OPENING ACTS We believe The Rolling Stones have stopped challenging themselves. There was a time when they would bring an opening band talented enough to challenge the Stones themselves who, in turn, would have to step it up even further when it was time for them to take the stage. We ask you: how challenging can it be to follow Third Eye Blind? How challenging can it be to follow Johnny Lang or the goddamn Spin Doctors? Forcing an audience who just paid a lot of money to sit through such tripe is a rip-off as much as it is an insult. While there are in fact hard working bands today who could give The Rolling Stones a run for their money, they never seem to appear on the bill. Additionally, even if those bands did open the show, most of those in attendance won't have the patience for them. Therefore, we demand The Rolling Stones forgo the use of opening acts on this last tour. Cut the fat, less is more.

6) WE WANT ALL FANS TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEMSELVES We believe the fault also lies with fans willing to do the bidding of their favourite band, no matter the cost. How many suckers does it take to fill an auditorium? Ask The Rolling Stones. We are all suckers, victims of their apparent cynicism and money hungry ways. We urge all self-respecting Rolling Stones fans to heed our warnings and join our ranks. Don't be taken for granted. We've bought the albums, we've bought the cassettes, we've bought the CDs, we've bought the DVDs, we've bought the Blu-rays, we've bought the re-masters, we've bought the elaborate re-issues, we've bought tickets to the movies, we've bought tickets to the concerts and we've bought anything with the tongue logo on it. We've bought it all, hook, line and sinker. Now it's time The Rolling Stones give back or we will push back. Why give them more of our money and then settle for the usual? We won't.

In time-honoured Monty Python's Life Of Brian" fashion, we await the arrival of the Popular Front For The Liberation Of The Rolling Stones...

Thanks for the report to ClassicRockMagazine.com.

27 comments sorted by best / new / date

    vikkyvik
    "Therefore, we demand the following songs not to be played on the next tour: "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction", "Brown Sugar", "Honky Tonk Women", "Start Me Up", "Sympathy For The Devil"." Good idea. That way they'll have 5000 delighted fans and 45000 very pissed off fans at each show.
    Pagan_Poetry wrote: 4) WE WANT THE ELIMINATION OF THE HORN SECTION AND BACK-UP SINGERS What?! Eliminate the possibilities of amazing songs from Exile on Main St. and Let It Bleed, including one of their biggest songs ever (Gimme Shelter)? How stupid. These fans are morons. Whiney, insipid morons. I hope the Stones do everything but follow this list (except for ticket prices maybe, but they'll always be very expensive whether we like it or not) just to piss these snobs off.
    Pretty much.
    Pagan_Poetry
    Wakisazhi wrote: Pagan_Poetry wrote: 4) WE WANT THE ELIMINATION OF THE HORN SECTION AND BACK-UP SINGERS What?! Eliminate the possibilities of amazing songs from Exile on Main St. and Let It Bleed, including one of their biggest songs ever (Gimme Shelter)? How stupid. These fans are morons. Whiney, insipid morons. I hope the Stones do everything but follow this list (except for ticket prices maybe, but they'll always be very expensive whether we like it or not) just to piss these snobs off. I'd think without back-up singers the Stones would simply rely on the crowd for back-up singing especially for the bigger hits, plus smaller venues would mean the acoustics would work in the crowds' favor as well.
    Well yeah, don't feature back up singers on literally every song, like Jumpin Jack Flash and Paint it Black and Under my Thumb, that kind of thing. But to not have them at all? That ruins what makes some of their best songs magical. The crowd singing along to some songs just isn't enough. Tell me Gimme Shelter would be nearly as hard hitting without legitimate back up singers. I get what you're saying though, and yeah for their straight forward rock n roll tracks, there shouldn't be back up singers.
    Pagan_Poetry
    4) WE WANT THE ELIMINATION OF THE HORN SECTION AND BACK-UP SINGERS
    What?! Eliminate the possibilities of amazing songs from Exile on Main St. and Let It Bleed, including one of their biggest songs ever (Gimme Shelter)? How stupid. These fans are morons. Whiney, insipid morons. I hope the Stones do everything but follow this list (except for ticket prices maybe, but they'll always be very expensive whether we like it or not) just to piss these snobs off.
    HarleyShugart
    Geez. The Rolling Stones are the musicians.If you can play an instrument better than them then by all means make these demands. But if not, deal with it. Put on a record and just don't go to the show.
    flyneye
    Last time I saw The Stones, I paid $24 during the Tattoo You Tour. Geo. Thorogood and Heart opened. 10 story P.A. system, Bundles of Weather balloons, 5 min. of fireworks at the end, a catwalk and a utility truck w/ a cherry picker to hover Jagger over the audience that piled on top of each other like ants if just to touch Christ! Not a lot of Glitz. Jovan and Schlitz even SPONSORED them. Now this is 1981 and they had to truck the show on $2.00 diesel. Frankly I think at worst, that would translate to $50 dollar tickets today. I think the floor price was only $40. Great show though. Marijuana smoke lifted from the stadium like smog from an industrial smokestack in the Rocky Mountains. We had drank a case of Mickeys standing in line before the show. Pip couldn't hold his weed too and passed out through Heart. Whores and Liquor stores, that's what the show's about folks!
    Minivirus2
    These people are idiots and I assume this is a group of MAYBE 1,000 followers on Facebook or something. Stupid people will be stupid. Some of their points contradict themselves too. I wouldn't be surprised if the RS released a PR statement, replying to this, which simply reads "LOL, no!"
    WholeLottaIzzy
    I believe they should bring it back to their routes. Smaller venues etc. I do not think they should alter their set list or the way their music is played. That is a stupid demand. I can understand wanting to hear different songs, but getting the band to change the way they play their own songs is stupid. Ticket prices I agree with. For the most part, I agree with the article.
    guitar.freak14
    Let the stones do what they want geez! If this demanding group likes them enough, respect their choices for the tour! they know what theyre doing
    kratzy31
    While I can agree with parts of their grievances (namely the ticket prices), the idea of removing the horns and back-up singers, and especially blacklisting their greatest hits is an awful idea. These people don't take into account some of us who have never had the chance to see the Stones, and WANT to hear their best hits in the way they were meant to be heard.
    Rob E
    This is basically what all die-hard fans of big bands want from their bands. "Demanding" these things is not the way to get them. Also, despite them saying they will push back and the fans are partly to blame, i can almost guarantee that when the next $300 tickets are released these die-hards will buy them like every other tour.
    mattteen
    those whiney basterds need to shut the **** up. they say they want different songs in the set list but are requesting "brown sugar" "honkey tonk women" and other hits. HELLO, they ****ing do that already you hippicrital bastards
    Wakisazhi
    To be fair though those are both doable and pretty good demands. In a way it kinda makes it easier on the Stones for the most part (besides relearning possible obscure deep cuts and playing more songs to make up for a lack of an opening act) since smaller venues and no brass sections/back-up singers means less personnel they have to hire for each show.
    Supersonic1
    rocknrollstar wrote: Maybe they could spice up the set by getting Will.I.Am on and getting him and Jagger to perform that new tune they done together. For those who haven't heard it:
    Worst idea ever. You don't deserve the Oasis-referencing username you chose.
    yappapie
    They have some good points(lower ticket prices and smaller venues)but the Stones should keep Bobby Keys on sax,but get rid of the other horns.Keep the backup singers(Lisa,Bernard,and Blondie)and cut back to one keyboard player(Chuck Levell).
    rocknrollstar
    Supersonic1 wrote: rocknrollstar wrote: Maybe they could spice up the set by getting Will.I.Am on and getting him and Jagger to perform that new tune they done together. For those who haven't heard it:
    Worst idea ever. You don't deserve the Oasis-referencing username you chose.
    You never seen a troll before? C'mon man, think about it.
    ledzepage
    they cant be ****in serious im probably only gonna see the stones once in my life and therefore have only one shot at hearing their "classics" live. They better not ruin this.....
    Bra1ins
    I think most of it is their management honestly. They control tour locations, venues, ticket pricing, EVERYTHING pretty much. Big bands like the stones cant control those things because they are under contract. I totally agree that the ticket pricing needs to be changed, but Im not gonna care if its in a small venue or not, I would see them in an arena any day, as long as it didn't cost 300 bucks haha
    Keefbabe
    This makes me both sad and mad. How do they dare? How in hell can someone calling themselves a Rolling stones fan make demands on the band? I'm just praying everyday to see them at least once again, whatever they play, whatever they charge the ticket. I mean, it would be nice to hear some "obscure songs" but I love Jumping Jack Flash as well, I really don't wont them to drop it! As for the ticket prices... lower charges would be nice, as always, but then we'd probably have to deal with scalpers - and I'd much rather give my money to the band than to some ****ing scalper. Whatever they want to do, we take it. They are the Rolling Stones! They've given us about everything they could, they've been playing for us, their fans, for 50 years... who else can say that? We are not supposed to complain, we should thank them! Actualy we should be very grateful for simply anything they decide to do for us. I mean, bitching fans should consider this: all those generations that come after us, they won't have the chance to see the Stones and they will think how lucky we were to have this opportunity... If members of this ridiculous league are not happy with what they get, they don't have to come to the show anymore. But do they really want to miss the 50th anniversary? I mean it's half a century! But don't go if you don't want to... But I tell you this - if I ever met someone who had a chance to go see Elvis in his later years, but the guy would tell me "yeah, you know, but I didn't go... I mean I really could have, but... this kind of show, with all the backup singers, the big band around him, the fancy dress, the same old songs... I mean it wasn't any longer the true and pure rock'n'roll show like when he started" - if he told me something like that (which equals those complaints about the Stones), I would either burst in tears or kick his ass. Or maybe both. Because I would give anything to see Elvis, in his fancy dress, with the backup singers, all this bullshit (well I actually really like it, but that's another story)... I'd just give anything. I would cut my left leg. I would actually cut my right one as well, if it helped any. So if you don't come to the 50th anniversary tour, if there is any, you will miss a great chance... and even though I really don't think the Stones are done, it will indeed be one of the last chances. As much as I'd wish to have them around for another 50 years, we all know this is not going to happen. And one last thing that makes me really angry... if this bullshit gets to the Stones... I mean, showing such disrecpect to our band? what a shame...
    ForProfeit
    rocknrollstar wrote: Maybe they could spice up the set by getting Will.I.Am on and getting him and Jagger to perform that new tune they done together. For those who haven't heard it:
    It'd be more appropriate to get Adam Levine and Christina Aguilera onstage to help Jagger "prove himself a physically fit older gentleman"
    GaryBillington
    Totally agree with those sort of demands. In fact, they should be demands made by ALL music fans that ALL artists should pay attention to.
    rocknrollstar
    Maybe they could spice up the set by getting Will.I.Am on and getting him and Jagger to perform that new tune they done together. For those who haven't heard it:
    AcdcTXfan
    The only one I agree with is the ticket prices. I've always liked big venues and all the effects. Concerts are kinda boring without any effects.
    Wakisazhi
    Pagan_Poetry wrote: 4) WE WANT THE ELIMINATION OF THE HORN SECTION AND BACK-UP SINGERS What?! Eliminate the possibilities of amazing songs from Exile on Main St. and Let It Bleed, including one of their biggest songs ever (Gimme Shelter)? How stupid. These fans are morons. Whiney, insipid morons. I hope the Stones do everything but follow this list (except for ticket prices maybe, but they'll always be very expensive whether we like it or not) just to piss these snobs off.
    I'd think without back-up singers the Stones would simply rely on the crowd for back-up singing especially for the bigger hits, plus smaller venues would mean the acoustics would work in the crowds' favor as well.
    GGM
    Now these sound like the fans that have seen the Stones over and over to be demanding them to NOT to play some of their greatest hits. Some of us have never seen the Stones before, and if I am going to see them, I would love to hear Start Me Up, Honky Tonk Women, Sympathy for the Devil, and Brown Sugar. Also how do you think they are going to sound without that backing band and pipes? How are they going to play Tumbling Dice and it sound like the album without those backing singers? What if they play Bitch and don't have the horns and pipes to follow along with the guitars like on the albums? Many of their best songs have the horns and Jazz instruments for fill ins, if you get rid of that, I guess they might as well not even play their best songs.